Kevin Willis

News Director

Kevin is the News Director at WKU Public Radio.  He has been with the station since 1999, and was previously the Assistant News Director, and also served as local host of Morning Edition.  He is a broadcast journalism graduate of WKU, and has won numerous awards for his reporting and feature production.  Kevin grew up in Radcliff, Kentucky and currently lives in Glasgow.

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Sports
8:45 pm
Sun January 20, 2013

For Former WKU Coach, Super Bowl Matchup is a Dream--and a Whole Lot of Stress

Jack and Jackie Harbaugh returned to WKU last September to be honored by the school. Their sons will coach both teams in Super Bowl XLVII.
Credit Kevin Willis

Former WKU football coach Jack Harbaugh and his wife, Jackie, find themselves in an amazing position.

They don't have one son coaching a team in the next Super Bowl. They have two sons coaching teams in the next Super Bowl.

The Harbaugh's son, Jim, is the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, who beat the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC title game Sunday afternoon. The Harbaugh's other son, John, is the head coach of the Baltimore Ravens, who beat the New England Patriots in the AFC title game Sunday night.

Last September, Jack and Jackie Harbaugh returned to WKU to be honored at halftime of the Hilltoppers' win against Southern Miss. Jack coached WKU from 1989-2002, winning the 1-AA NCAA championship in his last season.

In an interview with WKU Public Radio the day before they were honored, both parents rolled their eyes when asked what it was like to watch their sons coach in the NFL. They said it filled them with stress and admitted they hated it when the 49'ers and Ravens play each other.

That's exactly what is going to happen now, with the Super Bowl championship going to the winner.

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Politics
10:20 pm
Sat January 19, 2013

Ashley Judd: No Decision Yet on Senate Run Against McConnell

Is Ashley Judd a serious Kentucky Senate candidate?

Actress Ashley Judd has been the subject of political rumors for months, with supporters encouraging her to run against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2014.

In an interview with Politico ahead of The Kentucky Society of Washington’s Bluegrass Ball in Washington, Judd said while she is honored by the support, she has yet to decide on a possible Senate bid.

Judd says there is no "time frame" concerning her decision.

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Environment
9:22 am
Sat January 19, 2013

Kentucky Lawmaker Wants to Disincentivize Use of Natural Gas by Power Plants

A Kentucky lawmaker has filed a bill that would block automatic utility rate increases for power plants that use natural gas.

The Courier-Journal reports Democratic Rep. Jim Gooch of Providence, the chairman of the House Natural Resources and Environment Committee, is sponsoring the measure that would prevent utilities from utilizing a provision in state law called the "fuel adjustment clause", which allows utilities to adjust what it charges customers based on changes in cost of fuel or purchased power.

In an interview with the newspaper, Gooch called the measure a "consumer protection bill."

Gooch represents a House seat that covers Daviess, Hopkins, McLean, and Webster counties.

Education
1:23 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Head of Kentucky's Pritchard Committee Not Sold on K-PREP Test

The executive director of the citizen’s advocacy group the Pritchard Committee is voicing concerns over the new statewide student testing regime being used in Kentucky.

Stu Silberman says he hasn’t fully bought into all aspects of the new accountability system.

Kentucky students took the K-Prep exams for the first time last year. K-Prep stands for “Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress”, and is based on national common core curricula, which creates common standards for subjects such as math, English, science, and social studies. But Kentucky legislators chose to instead adopt a so-called “quality core” model from ACT Inc.

Silberman, a former Daviess County schools superintendent, was quoted in the Messenger-Inquirer as saying “I’m not sure if what we assessed was exactly Common Core. To me, the jury’s still out.”

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Politics
4:20 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Politico: Kentucky Rep. Earning Reputation as Someone Willing to Say "No"

U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie

The newest member of Kentucky's congressional delegation is fast becoming known as someone who is willing to vote "no"--including against measures favored by his own party.

According to Politico, Rep. Thomas Massie has voted against the fiscal cliff deal negotiated between fellow Kentucky Republican Mitch McConnell and the White House, the National Defense Authorization Act, and all bills aimed at providing aid for those impacted by Hurricane Sandy in the northeast.

Massie is a 42-year-old M.I.T. graduate who easily won November's election to fill the vacant Fourth District U.S. House seat, which covers a stretch of northern and northeastern Kentucky.

Health
2:40 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Harwell and Ramsey: Legislative Investigation into Tennessee DCS Coming Soon

Two high-ranking Republicans say they’ll hold legislative meetings to examine the state’s troubled Department of Children’s Services. The Tennessean reports House Speaker Beth Harwell and Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey plan to announce meetings to be held later this month when the Tennessee General Assembly reconvenes in Nashville.

The DCS has come under intense criticism recently for refusing to share details about the cases of 31 children who died in the first six months of 2012. Those 31 children had previously been brought to the attention of the DCS, leading to questions about whether more could have been done to place the children in a safer environment.

Democratic Rep. Mike Turner has previously called for a legislative investigation into how DCS protects vulnerable young people in the Volunteer state.  The New-York based group Children's Rights is also pressing Tennessee to get the DCS to release case records.

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Politics
9:31 am
Thu January 17, 2013

McConnell: Agreement with White House Possible on US Troops in Afghanistan

Ft. Campbell soldiers in Afghanistan

Kentucky's senior U.S. Senator believes there is opportunity for bipartisan agreement concerning American troop levels in Afghanistan.

The Courier-Journal reports McConnell made the remarks after returning home from a congressional trip to Afghanistan and Israel.

The Kentucky Republican believes between 10,000-15,000 U.S. troops would be needed to continue training Afghan troops and combat terrorism after next year's American drawdown.

Education
3:35 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

Web Extra: WKU President Ransdell on Role of Athletics at University

WKU's hiring of Bobby Petrino made national headlines.
Credit WKU Athletics

Dr. Ransdell discusses the role athletics is playing at WKU.

WKU President Gary Ransdell spoke to WKU Public Radio Tuesday on a variety of subjects, including the high-profile role athletics has been playing lately at the university.

Head football coach Willie Taggart left WKU late last year for a bigger salary at South Florida. Within 72 hours, WKU had hired former Louisville coach Bobby Petrino, an accomplished--and controversial--name in collegiate athletics.

What does Dr. Ransdell say to those on and off WKU's campus who wonder if athletics is playing too big a role at the university? You can hear the President's comments on WKU athletics in the audio clip above.

The rest of Dr. Ransdell's interview can be heard here.

Regional
12:00 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

WKYU-FM Entry for Best Reporter, 2013 Kentucky AP Competition

This audio compilation is an entry by WKYU-FM in the Best Radio Reporter category in the 2013 Kentucky Associated Press Broadcasters competition.

This entry highlights some of the excellent work done in 2012 by Lisa Autry. The first story takes you inside the Bowling Green General Motors plant to learn how the facility was preparing to start production of the next generation Corvette.

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Politics
12:00 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

WKYU-FM Entry for Best Political Coverage, 2013 Kentucky AP Awards

This audio compilation is WKYU-FM's entry in the category of Best Political Coverage for the 2013 Kentucky Associated Press Broadcasters competition for radio.

Our entry features reports by Lisa Autry leading up to and following the 2012 Vice Presidential Debate at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky.

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